Are Coalition Governments An Inevitable Occurrence In The Indian Context?
Since the late 1980s the Indian central government has been made up by coalitions of several parties. Examining what seems like a perpetual re-occurrence of coalition governments, this essay seeks to answer the question whether coalitions in the Indian context are inevitable and what inherent characteristics of the Indian state and society create the circumstances that favour political coalitions. This paper looks at essential features such as ethnic heterogeneity, the first-past-the-post voting system and socio-political developments within the Indian polity since independence. Finally, it also takes a look into the future and identifies clear requirements needed in order to break the cycle of reoccurring coalitions in Indian politics. Drawing on opinions and predictions of important scholars who have examined and commented on the features and developments in the Indian context since its independence in 1947, the findings point out clearly that coalition governments in Indian politics are inevitable for the present.